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Warm nights with cool rides

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Friday Night Cruisers adds class to Liberty’s summer

By Charlie VanLeuven

cvanleuven@caseynews.net

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After the cold winter and rainy start to the spring, classic car restorers were ready for a warm evening to show off their rides, visit with friends and talk shop about their work.

A scheduled May 4 show had to be canceled due to rain. And so, a week later, the Friday Night Cruisers descended in front of the Casey County Courthouse. By 7 p.m. May 11, over 100 vehicles were parked down Campbellsville and Middleburg Street, while music and the smell of grilling burgers filled the air.

Friday Night Cruisers will be held each first Friday of the month from April to October. After three years, the event has gained traction among locals, and even those from out-of-state.

Organizers hope that the monthly car show and cruise in downtown Liberty will continue to grow and be another family-friendly event for the community.

“We want to keep it going and getting bigger,” said Troy Sanders, one of the 25 founding members of Friday Night Cruisers.

Another founding member, Sonja Lynn said that the idea was borrowed from neighboring Somerset, where the city has an established cruise.

“We enjoy going to Somerset and how they do theirs, and we wanted to do something similar,” she said.

Each month, one of the proud owners of a classic car will be awarded a People’s Choice award, which includes a keepsake picture of their winning car, as well as a $300 prize. The organizers also give away six $50 door prizes throughout the evening. The voting is done by ballot, and the members of the Friday Night Cruisers don’t get to vote, to ensure that it isn’t biased.

The People’s Choice prize is announced at 8 p.m. April’s winner was James Wesley’s Ford 1963 Econoline.

After a classic car owner is named the People’s Choice, those who brought vehicles are invited to go on a cruise up and down “the bypass” on Highway 127.

Sanders said that he sees people getting out lawn chairs to admire the classic cars. Lynn said that they don’t race. That would be illegal.

Danny Warren, a local business owner, brought his 1964 Chevy 10 truck to the show. With it parked, and the hood opened, he gave it a last-minute once over with a cloth.

He said he was happy to have the show and cruise in his hometown.

“I really enjoy it and I really appreciate it. It’s one of the best things, besides the Ag Expo, that’s even been put on in Liberty,” he said.

He said that he has enjoyed car shows since he was little. It was only recently that he has been able to proudly show his collection.

“All of my life I’ve been looking, but I just couldn’t afford it until I got older,” he said.

The Chevy 10 is one of three vehicles he’ll bring to the Friday Night Cruisers events. He hasn’t won the event in the years he’s participated, but the Chevy 10 won at the Apple Festival’s car show, so it had a chance.

Sanders said that almost any vehicle would be welcome to join them. He said that there had been cars, trucks, motorcycles, dune buggies and even a semi-truck at the annual shows.

Entering a vehicle is for free, as is enjoying the atmosphere and the good conversation.

“Just get a hold of one of the members,” Sanders said.

He added that the event wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors. All of them are local to Casey County.

“The sponsors are people in our community,” he said.